Before we proceed to the interview questions, let me explain the basics of SkyWest interviews. First of all, they do not care about your previous experience in the field. Experience and education play little role in flight attendant interviews. SKyWest has an excellent training program in place for new hires, and you will learn how to handle every aspect of your job. What they care about is first and foremost your attitude, that means how you look at different situations, how you perceive the job, the passengers, your role of a flight attendant etc.
And secondly, they are interested in your overall demeanor, that means your communication skills, whether it is a pleasure talking to you (or a pain), whether you have some charisma, how you conduct yourself, etc. Such things are hard to change in adults. That’s why it crucial for them to see that you conduct yourself as someone who can make the experience of flight passengers pleasant and safe. With their questions, and the form of interviewing they follow at SkyWest, they try to understand these two things--your attitude, and whether you have a great flight attendant “in you”. Let’s proceed to the questions they use while trying to understand these things.
Please introduce yourself in one minute
Most applicants make a mistake thinking too much about what they will say. What really matters, however, is how you say it. Do you talk clearly and it is easy to understand you? Do you have smile on your face, a pleasant expression passengers will enjoy seeing onboard? Is there any enthusiasm in your voice? Do you look pumped-up for this opportunity, or does it feel like just another interview on your list? Hiring managers watch mostly these things when they ask applicants to introduce themselves, often in a group interview setting.
What you talk about is of secondary importance really, unless you talk nonsense… But you can talk about your education, hobbies, family, or simply tell them where you are from. One thing I suggest you to mention though is your desire to become flight attendant, at least briefly. At the end of the day, that’s why you are in the room with them. Other than that, you can tell them anything, as long as it makes sense when it comes to your career with the company.
One other important thing I want to stress here: Focus on yourself, not what the other candidates are saying. The goal here isn’t to be super-original. When you are in the same room with 30 other applicants, chances are high some people will say that same thing (or a similar one) as you want to say. Do not let it to discourage you, and do not change your plan in a last second. Tell them what you wanted to tell them, regardless of what the rest of applicants are saying. Remember that they do not compare you with them–they simply do group interview to save time, but they consider each candidate individually. So focus on your speech, how you talk, and do not bother whether someone else said something similar.
Why do you want to work for SkyWest airlines?
This one isn’t easy, considering that job of a fight attendant does not differ much from one US airline to another, and the same is the case with salary and benefits. However, you should say something, ideally some meaningful reason. One of your options is talking about the region (the West coast), or even a particular hub of SkyWest, LA, Phoenix, Portland, etc, saying that you are native to these areas, and would like to work there as a flight attendant, instead of East coast or whatever.
Second option is saying that you actually know someone working as a flight attendant at SkyWest. They told you a lot about the job, the atmosphere in the workplace, relations with colleagues, salary & benefits, the way company treats both passengers and employees, etc. You liked what you heard and decided to apply with the same airlines.
Last but not least, you can do your research, checking corporate website of SkyWest, Wikipedia page, their social media profiles, etc. Find something you like, something that resonates with you. It can also be something particular on the job description. Any such thing (or a combination of two or more) can be the reason why you applied with SkyWest, instead of with some of their competitors.
In your opinion, what makes you a great candidate for flight attendant position?
In a very best answer, you actually shouldn’t talk much about you :). You should talk about the passengers at first place, and how you can make their flight a better experience. For example, you can say that people generally feel great around you, and understand your instructions–in any life situations. Hence you believe it will be easy for you to provide an excellent and smooth experience for the passengers.
Of course, you can also point out some personality traits that make from you a great candidate. Communication skills are an obvious choice, knowing languages also helps though with SkyWest it isn’t as important as it is with some international airlines. Empathy, and emotional intelligence are another great skills to mention, since they will help you spot problems early, and take action before they can grow into something bigger. Attention to detail is another skill to mention.
Last but not least, you can express your desire to do the job, that you always wanted to work as a flight attendant, and this desire will no doubt reflects in the way you do your job, in the way you treat the passengers, and take care of all your responsibilities, to a great satisfaction of everyone involved–including you. Anything you say, make sure to show confidence in your ability to become a great flight attendant. You have what it takes–the right attitude and personality, and with their excellent training program, you you’ll soon become someone the passengers enjoy seeing onboard…
A passenger feels unwell, wanting to go to the toilet immediately, but the plane is just taking off and the seat belt sign is on. What will you do?
Once you get to a face to face interview with one of the recruiters, they will ask you several situational questions. My best advice is to remember two rules: 1. Safety first. 2. Do everything to please the majority of passengers.
This particular question is about safety. When the seat belt sign is on, you won’t allow the passenger to the toilet. But you should not ignore them either! On the contrary, you will offer alternatives–glass of water, a pill, or at least a sack if they need to vomit :). More than anything else, they should get your attention and feel that you care. Of course a plane isn’t ascending for thirty minutes. Most likely in a few minutes the seat belt sign will turn off, and the passenger can go to the toilet. Your goal as a flight attendant is to help them pass those few minutes, at least in relative comfort…
A baby is crying onboard and other passengers are complaining. What will you do?
This is a classic question, and no doubt you’ve heard it at least once, or read about it on other websites. It isn’t an easy one though. While you try to please the majority of passengers, every passenger is important, and so is the baby… The key here is to show proactive approach, and focus on the communication with the mother.
Sure enough, each flight has some sweets onboard, some toys, and whatever. As an attentive flight attendant you will bring those around, and in many cases it will be enough to please the child, and it will stop crying. Next step is communicating with the mother, trying to understand what may be the problem, and helping her to solve it. It can be anything from feeding the child to changing diapers. Needless to say, communication and understanding is the key here.
Last but not least, you can say that you will also apologize to complaining passengers, ensuring them that the crew does what it can to help the child feel comfortable onboard, so it will stop crying. Most recruiters will be impressed with this answer, observing that you see the situation from all angles, and while you focus primarily on the child and its mother, you do not forget on the complaining passengers. At the end of the day, their satisfaction is also important for the reputation of the airlines, and the safety of the flight.
Other questions you may face in your interview with SkyWest Airlines
- Tell us about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer in your previous job.
- How long do you want to work as a flight attendant?
- What challenges do you foresee in this position?
- How would you choose the right people to sit next to the emergency exits?
- Imagine that one of your colleagues got sick unexpectedly. You have to take their shift, after a week that has been physically and mentally demanding on you. What would you do?
- What do you consider most difficult about the job of a flight attendant?
- Tell us about a time you had a conflict with a colleague.
- Many people want to work as flight attendants. Why should we choose you?
Interview for a flight attendant job with SkyWest belongs to interviews with average difficulty. You will compete with many other people, and they will ask you some tricky situational questions. However, once you approach this interview with a correct mindset, and show the right attitude to the job and the people you will deal with (colleagues, passengers, authorities), you have a good chance of succeeding. Hope you will, and see you onboard!
May also interest you: Flight attendant interview guide–an eBook for people who want to do more than others to succeed.